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Len Brown will today propose a living wage for Auckland Council employees

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, November 7th, 2013 - 15 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, len brown, uncategorized, wages, workers' rights - Tags:


In a sure sign that Len Brown intends to see this term out he will table a draft budget today for the Auckland Council that proposes a living wage for Auckland Council and CCO employees.

The policy will eventually cost $3.75 million per annum which is chicken feed when you consider that the bill for wages and employee benefits for Auckland Council is just short of $700 million per annum and the Council’s total spend per annum is in the vicinity of $3.3 billion.

It is a positive move.  I understand that 1,500 staff will be affected.

Len intends to fund this through savings.  Fair enough.  He should reduce the money paid to the CEO and the senior level of management for the Council and the CCOs.  This ought to provide considerable savings and also lessen the gap between the top 1% and everyone else.

It is not the end of the campaign, for Auckland Council through its contracts with companies that supply cleaners, labourers and a myriad of others still funds the wages of many on or close to the minimum wage.  It will have to work out how to persuade these entities to also pay a living wage.

Len’s proposal is that the increase will be phased in over three  years, starting at $1.25 million for 2014-15.  He should be braver and think about introducing the policy this year.  The amount is not huge.

But good on him to propose this.  It will be interesting to see how the Council handles this proposal.

15 comments on “Len Brown will today propose a living wage for Auckland Council employees”

  1. Tracey 1

    Pretty sure the ceo of watercare, which runs a monopoly, what could be easier, takes home at least 500k…

  2. The Murphey 2

    Q: How many independent contractors/consultants are working inside Auckland Council departments?

    A: ______

    Q: How many of the total are earning over $100ph?

    A: ______

    Q: How many of the total are earning over $200ph?

    A: ______

    Q: How long is it necessary to retain independent contractors/consultants that do not have niche markets skills, that are taking home between $200 – 500K+ per year?

    A: ______

    Q: Why is Auckland Council paying over market rates for independent contractors/consultants, to the point where the private sector has become vocal about market rate warping ?

    A: ______

    Q: How many independent contractors/consultants does it take to make up the 3.75m per annum for a living wage? (average rate of $150ph)

    A: ______

    Q: How are the costs of independent contractors/consultants identified in the publicly identified wage bill/head count?

    A: ______

    • We don’t know exactly how much is being spent on consultants or contractors – because ‘the books’ are not open.

      The ‘Rule of Law’ – is NOT being upheld.


      Part 2
      Recordkeeping requirements
      Subpart 1—Key duties
      17 Requirement to create and maintain records

      (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

      (2) Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act.

      (3) Every local authority must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all protected records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act.

      Penny Bright

  3. infused 3

    If it’s done via savings fine. Believe it when I see it.

    It’s a nice way for Len to get people off his back. It’s almost a back hander

    • muzza 3.1

      How might you propose it be nulified by savings, based on your understanding and experience of how Auckland Council operates?

      • infused 3.1.1

        I’m basing my experience on the councils in the Wellington region. Constant rate rises and cuts to service. They say every year savings will be made – yet we keep getting 3.5%+ rate rises.

        I can only assume Auckland would be similar.

        • muzza

          So no understanding about funding models etc then, for either council?

          As an Aucklander, I am more than happy to have those deserving souls who perform the roles which would be subject to a living wage, and whose lives will be positively improved with a living wage, have my full support.

          Leave Auckland affairs to Aucklanders, and busy yourself with learning/underastanding about the major influences on those rates raises you refer to.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    At the other end of the ‘living wage’ spectrum, apparently the Auckland Council CEO is paid far more the CEO of Brisbane Council, which is a comparable ‘super city’.

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    Len intends to fund this through savings. Fair enough. He should reduce the money paid to the CEO and the senior level of management for the Council and the CCOs. This ought to provide considerable savings and also lessen the gap between the top 1% and everyone else.

    – sounds good

  6. Tracey 6

    We dont vote for the chamber of commerce so why does michael barnett purport to speak for ratepayers.

    I would rather fund a living wage than a 710k salary for someone to oversee a monopoly like watercare.

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